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Long Island: Good Ride Today?

Old 06-01-15, 07:37 AM
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Sorry to post a second time, but I have a technical question: how did you get that graphic into the post full-size?
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Old 06-01-15, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Ferdinand NYC
Hehe! Well, I commute to work, about 10 1/2 miles each way. So, if I do nothing else but ride to and from work Monday through Friday, that's about 400 miles in the month. That is what I shoot for during a bad-weather month.

But, when the warm weather comes in, I start to take my vacation days in order to ride all day; and I also frequently do full days on the weekends. This past week, May 24-30, I totalled more than 300 miles, doing more than 50 miles on four separate days. It was my third highest weekly total since I began keeping records.

I am hoping for a very hot summer. The hotter it is, the stronger I get.
Where do you ride?

Long Island, Westchester or New Jersey?
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Old 06-01-15, 07:39 AM
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Silly me... it's a Long Island topic so you must ride out east.
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Old 06-01-15, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by oldnslow2
Where do you ride?

Long Island, Westchester or New Jersey?
Mostly within New York City. I love riding in Manhattan and the Bronx; and I live on the Brooklyn/Queens border, so I can accumulate plenty of miles just by touring those spacious boroughs.

But several times a year I get out to all of those aforementioned foreign lands. I was out in Nassau last Sunday, and will be going out there again for a party in a few weeks; I hit the Bronx River Parkway in Westchester a few weeks ago; and I was in Jersey (just over the bridge and back, really) during a day last week.

When I go to Jersey, I don't usually go north from the bridge, as many cyclists do. I prefer going south, into the bustling cities of Hudson County. Then I like to cross the two bridges from Jersey City over to Newark, via Kearny. I haven't done that yet this year.

I know that you are out on Long Island. Do you ever get to experience the great Manhattan avenues?
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Old 06-01-15, 07:56 AM
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I much rather ride empty road with rolling hills, than the busy, pot hole infested roads on NYC.

You're a brave man.
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Old 06-01-15, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by oldnslow2
I much rather ride empty road with rolling hills, than the busy, pot hole infested roads on NYC.

You're a brave man.
New York's streets may be busy; but they certainly aren't pothole-infested!

Well, there is one street that I take through Brooklyn on my way to work that is a truck route; and that one gets kind of beat up. But, on the whole, the streets of the City are well paved.

And no bravery is required. Bike lanes have turned Manhattan into something of a bike wonderland; drivers now expect us more than ever. The difference between the first time I rode in Manhattan back in 1981 and now is astonishing, far more than I could ever have imagined.

Of course a rider has to be aware of his/her surroundings. But riding in the City's boroughs, especially Manhattan, is extremely pleasant. And Queens has long stretches of flat, eminently bikable roads. It would be a shame to let an inaccurate and outdated perception prevent you from enjoying New York City, which was recently named by Bicycling magazine as the best city in the country for riding.
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Old 06-01-15, 05:53 PM
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I happen to love riding in Manhattan, especially Midtown/Times Square, and especially when the traffic is roaring. To me, the bicycle is less of a recreational/fitness experience than it is a way to see the world. One of my favorite rides is from the Flatbush Avenue Brooklyn LIRR over the Brooklyn Bridge, across town to the West Side Bikeway, up to the 79th Street Boat Basin, back down to 42nd Street, across town to Broadway/7th Avenue, and downtown to Penn Station. For me, nothing equals the thrill of riding within an eyelash of a double-decker tourist bus or waiting at an intersection in the heart of Times Square.

Long Island is cool, too, but there aren't enough destinations that interest me, unless I begin my ride with a drive somewhere.
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Old 06-02-15, 04:40 AM
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Just getting back into cycling and not to thrilled to ride in traffic. I live on the North Bronx / Westchester boarder, and I have relatively easy access to plenty of bike paths. Without putting my bike in the car I can ride up to the South County Trailway, Or down the Hudson River Greenway, or across the Mosholu Greenway. So I do ride in traffic to get to them or other connectors and the Bronx needs to be repaved! and even more to the point repainted. I was riding what was suppose to be a bike lane unlike Manhattan were they're well painted you could barely tell it was a bike lane.

Ok enough rant! I don't mind putting my bike in the car to get to a nice path! Can you recommend a nice path to ride out on L.I.
Am a rec rider I like paved paths, I ride a hybrid with 700x32 wheels and days exercise is 25-30 miles in a hilly area. I think L.I. is flatter.
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Old 06-02-15, 08:08 AM
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[QUOTE=oldnslow2;17855243]I much rather ride empty road with rolling hills,

I'm with OldnSlow. When I'm riding, I want nothing to do with motorized traffic. I don't want to see them, hear them or smell them. I'd rather dodge through 50 miles of Amish horse manure than be passed by a single truck. No, make that a hundred miles.
The past few years I've been heading out to the northern Rockies to backpack and I've seen cyclists in some spectacular spots, and to me, that's the gold standard of cycling. Last year what stuck in my mind was this lone woman with full panniers, headed toward 11,000 feet and the treeline on the Beartooth Highway in Montana. My cycling hero.
The only thing that kept my head from exploding with envy was the knowledge that I was headed beyond where bikes can go.
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Old 06-02-15, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom
I happen to love riding in Manhattan, especially Midtown/Times Square, and especially when the traffic is roaring. To me, the bicycle is less of a recreational/fitness experience than it is a way to see the world.
I am not entirely sure that you are being sincere. But, to reply to your words at face value, I will say that for me it is definitely both. The fitness effects of daily riding have turned my life around, helping me to lose a lot of weight and to keep it off for four years so far. So I will never minimise that.

But the interaction with the world is a huge part of the joy of riding, as well. Riding has strengthened my sense of place, my sense of belonging to New York City. I find now that I have memories of certain locations which involve the feel of the slope. So much so that, if I am ever stuck in a car (invariably someone else's, as I have never owned a car -- this is my birthright as a New Yorker!) and if that car is going up a hill that is known to me, it feels wrong not to have the climbing feeling in my legs.

Also, a bike rider is moving at a speed similar to riding a horse, therefore at a speed at which human beings have for millennia been accustomed to moving. We are evolved to appreciate seeing the world at that rate; for this reason, there is something profoundly satisfying about moving at something like 10 to 15 miles per hour. By travelling at that rate, a bicyclist gets a sense of how human beings have understood distances for these past thousands of years; whereas, someone who drives more than he/she rides will have a relatively unnatural conception of distances.


Originally Posted by Papa Tom
One of my favorite rides is from the Flatbush Avenue Brooklyn LIRR over the Brooklyn Bridge, across town to the West Side Bikeway, up to the 79th Street Boat Basin, back down to 42nd Street, across town to Broadway/7th Avenue, and downtown to Penn Station. For me, nothing equals the thrill of riding within an eyelash of a double-decker tourist bus or waiting at an intersection in the heart of Times Square.
The aroma of sarcasm is getting a little stronger. Nevertheless, to engage at face value: the Manhattan Bridge is always a better choice than the Brooklyn Bridge, except overnight and early morning. This past Saturday I was grooving around all four significant boroughs, and I found myself in lower Manhattan. Despite my better judgement, I approached the Brooklyn Bridge at around 3:00 or 4:00 in the afternoon. Pointless. The throng of pedestrians was spilling over into the supposed bike lane, rendering it practically impassible. So I just retreated up to the Manhattan Bridge.

As I mentioned, the Brooklyn Bridge is best used during the overnight hours; and for years that was the only time that I used it. This led to a very strange sensation one early morning a few years ago. I had started out from home just before sunrise, and I got to Downtown Brooklyn after the morning fully broke, maybe around 5:30am. I was still in "overnight" mode mentally; so I decided to take the Brooklyn Bridge, which was peaceful and calm. Yet something looked a bit odd to me, something which I could not precisely pinpoint at that moment. Later on I realised that the sight which had struck me as odd was seeing the Brooklyn Bridge bike/pedestrian path empty during the daylight hours! It was something that I had not seen before; in every previous daytime encounter with the Brooklyn Bridge I had found it teeming with pedestrians. So its emptiness in the sunshine made a familiar place look strangely unfamiliar.

The Hudson River Greenway is a nice thing; and I am glad it is there, as it helps encourage people to take up riding. I wind up riding on it a few times a year, but I can't say that I love it. That road feels too remote for me; when I ride it, I wind up feeling a bit deprived of the City. So, if I am on the West Side, I almost always opt for Eighth or Sixth Avenue going uptown and Ninth Avenue going downtown, all of which have bike lanes. (Broadway goes downtown as well; but its bike lane suffers from the same flaw as the one on the Brooklyn Bridge: it tends to be overrun by pedestrians.)

The bike lanes on First Avenue (going north) and Second Avenue (going south) are great to use, as well. But there are some avenues which are pleasant to ride on despite their not having bike lanes, particularly Madison (going north) and Fifth (going south). And above Central Park, Seventh and Eighth Avenues (there also called Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. and Frederick Douglass Blvd., respectively) are two-way avenues that are good for biking, notwithstanding their lack of bike lanes. A very useful bike lane above the park is found on two-way St. Nicholas Ave.


Originally Posted by Papa Tom
Long Island is cool, too, but there aren't enough destinations that interest me, unless I begin my ride with a drive somewhere.
Right. I appreciate the flatness of much of Long Island. But the problem, frankly, is that all that flatness is located way the hell out on Long Island. Having grown up in an eastern Queens locale which was far too suburbanish for my tastes, I was very young when I began feeling the remoteness from the urban centres of my city -- Jamaica, Flushing, Downtown Brooklyn, and of course Manhattan. I have lived in relatively urbanised Woodhaven for almost thirty years; this suits me much more. But I have not lost the sense that being far from any urban centre places me essentially "nowhere". This is why I find it hard to enjoy riding out on Long Island; and this is also why I find the cities of Hudson County (and also Essex County's Newark) so appealing by comparison.

Still, there are some things that I have found out there that I can appreciate. For decades I restricted myself to going east along Jericho Tpke. or Hempstead Tpke.; but I only recently discovered that Stewart Ave. is a much better street through Nassau. And of course the Bethpage State Park bike path, much discussed in this thread, is a very good off-street ride. While I was wandering around near where my brother lives in Westbury, I happened upon a section called New Cassel which I liked a lot -- it even has a bike lane running on its main street! I have not yet ridden to Jones Beach. Maybe I will give that a go this summer.


Originally Posted by Jarrettsin
Just getting back into cycling and not to thrilled to ride in traffic. I live on the North Bronx / Westchester boarder, and I have relatively easy access to plenty of bike paths. Without putting my bike in the car I can ride up to the South County Trailway, Or down the Hudson River Greenway, or across the Mosholu Greenway. So I do ride in traffic to get to them or other connectors and the Bronx needs to be repaved! and even more to the point repainted. I was riding what was suppose to be a bike lane unlike Manhattan were they're well painted you could barely tell it was a bike lane.
It's true that some roads in the Bronx could use re-painting. Bike lanes have tamed the Grand Concourse -- but they need to be maintained if they aren't going to fade to oblivion. But many of the lanes in the southern part of the borough are still in pretty good shape. I use St. Ann's Ave., Third Ave., and Willis Ave. pretty often.

If you've ridden the Molsholu Greenway then you're probably aware of its connection to the greenway at the centre of Pelham Parkway, which you can take east all the way to Pelham Bay Park, Orchard Beach, and even City Island. And there is also the Bronx River route, which is more-or-less continuous from the City line down to to Pelham Parkway, and then picks up again south of there and goes down to 180th St. Near its southern terminus, there is actually a picturesque waterfall on the Bronx River. I was there recently and took this picture:




Originally Posted by kaos joe
Originally Posted by oldnslow2
I much rather ride empty road with rolling hills,
I'm with OldnSlow. When I'm riding, I want nothing to do with motorized traffic. I don't want to see them, hear them or smell them. I'd rather dodge through 50 miles of Amish horse manure than be passed by a single truck. No, make that a hundred miles.

The past few years I've been heading out to the northern Rockies to backpack and I've seen cyclists in some spectacular spots, and to me, that's the gold standard of cycling. Last year what stuck in my mind was this lone woman with full panniers, headed toward 11,000 feet and the treeline on the Beartooth Highway in Montana. My cycling hero.
The only thing that kept my head from exploding with envy was the knowledge that I was headed beyond where bikes can go.
I defer to no one in my hatred for cars, and in my contempt for the American automobile-centric ideology. I'd prefer a New York City with a fraction of the cars that it has, and in which private autos were completely banned from much of Manhattan.

Still, urban density makes for a great environment for riding, owing to the diversity of neighbourhoods, the vibrancy of the street life, the multiplicity of interesting places to visit. And, if that dense urban area has a lot of bike lanes (lanes which not only improve the quality of riding on the streets on which they are located, but which cumulatively announce to motorists that we bicyclists exist) as New York City does, then urban riding is even better.

I can get all I need of rural areas by looking at pictures; I wouldn't want to be in such places. For me, bike-riding is a fundamentally urban activity, best experienced in a city. That's my gold standard.
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Old 06-02-15, 10:21 AM
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This here is about the appropriate level of traffic and urban development for me.

To each his own, there is no wrong answer here.
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Old 06-02-15, 11:39 AM
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I love the back way at SUNY Old Westbury
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Old 06-02-15, 01:08 PM
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Sorry to ask this again, but how do you get a full-sized graphic into a post? The graphics that Kaos Joe and I attached came out as thumbnails.
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Old 06-02-15, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Ferdinand NYC
Sorry to ask this again, but how do you get a full-sized graphic into a post? The graphics that Kaos Joe and I attached came out as thumbnails.
Mine are hosted either on my own web server or a hosting site like Photobucket or dozens of others.

If you "attach" it then it's hosed on Bikeforums and shows up as a thumbnail that you have to click on.
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Old 06-02-15, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by oldnslow2
Mine are hosted either on my own web server or a hosting site like Photobucket or dozens of others.

If you "attach" it then it's hosed on Bikeforums and shows up as a thumbnail that you have to click on.
Oh, of course. I should have known. I have a Photobucket account; maybe I'll use it the next time I want to post a picture.

Thanks for the answer.
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Old 06-02-15, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Jarrettsin
I don't mind putting my bike in the car to get to a nice path! Can you recommend a nice path to ride out on L.I. Am a rec rider I like paved paths, I ride a hybrid with 700x32 wheels and days exercise is 25-30 miles in a hilly area. I think L.I. is flatter.
I've got a listing of paved paths on LI and surrounding areas at NewYorkRides . I put this site together back in the 1990's, but most of it is still relevant. For a hilly ride, you'd have to go off the paths, but there's some nice riding on the north shore of Long Island, from around Glen Cove to Oyster Bay. To just get some miles in, you can take the LIRR to Syosset, ride to the start of the Bethpage Bikeway, take that south to Massapequa, then connect with the Ellen Farrant Bikeway down to Jones Beach.

I'm a big fan of all the Westchester bikeways.
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Old 06-02-15, 03:36 PM
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Ferdinand:

Wow...I'm not sure why you thought I was being sarcastic, but that goes to show how easy it is to be misunderstood and to offend people on these forums.

I am being 100% honest when I say that I really enjoy the hustle-bustle of riding in Manhattan. Perhaps the imagery of the buses at my side threw you, but that's the type of thing that makes city riding so exciting for me. And having worked in Times Square for many years, I really love returning there as a "tourist" on my bicycle.

Of course, there are places I like to ride on Long Island, too. But as I said, with the little amount of free time I have, too many of them involve having to start with a drive to the starting point.
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Old 06-02-15, 04:58 PM
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any long islander can recommend a good path to ride from Bayside going further into Long Island?
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Old 06-02-15, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by funkybudda
any long islander can recommend a good path to ride from Bayside going further into Long Island?
I would take the LIRR to Bethpage and from there you have access to all the good roads.
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Old 06-02-15, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by funkybudda
any long islander can recommend a good path to ride from Bayside going further into Long Island?
No joke: The LIE Service Road.
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Old 06-02-15, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom
I've got a listing of paved paths on LI and surrounding areas at NewYorkRides . I put this site together back in the 1990's, but most of it is still relevant. For a hilly ride, you'd have to go off the paths, but there's some nice riding on the north shore of Long Island, from around Glen Cove to Oyster Bay. To just get some miles in, you can take the LIRR to Syosset, ride to the start of the Bethpage Bikeway, take that south to Massapequa, then connect with the Ellen Farrant Bikeway down to Jones Beach.

I'm a big fan of all the Westchester bikeways.
Thank for the link, no I'm looking to get away from the hills. If you know the Westchester paths you know the hills of Riverdale
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Old 06-02-15, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Jarrettsin
Can you recommend a nice path to ride out on L.I.
Yes, there's a MUP (Multi Use Path) that runs from the Syosset LIRR station, south through Bethpage State Park, along the Bethpage Parkway and into the Massapequa Preserve. From there you can take local streets, about 3 miles, to Cedar Creek park where there's a MUP to Tobay Beach. I'd say its about 33 miles from end to end and nothing more than a 30' climb.

You can ride back or just half way to the Wantagh LIRR station and go home.
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Old 06-02-15, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Jarrettsin
Thank for the link, no I'm looking to get away from the hills. If you know the Westchester paths you know the hills of Riverdale
I'm not a fan of hills anymore, either. The north shore "Gold Coast" rides I mentioned are beautiful, but can get very hilly. Stick to the paths on my website and you can enjoy many miles of mostly flat pavement and/or packed gravel and dirt.
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Old 06-03-15, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom
Ferdinand:

Wow...I'm not sure why you thought I was being sarcastic, but that goes to show how easy it is to be misunderstood and to offend people on these forums.

I am being 100% honest when I say that I really enjoy the hustle-bustle of riding in Manhattan. Perhaps the imagery of the buses at my side threw you, but that's the type of thing that makes city riding so exciting for me. And having worked in Times Square for many years, I really love returning there as a "tourist" on my bicycle.
Oops! Yes, I suppose it was the bit about coming within an eyelash of a bus that kind of made me think that you might be yanking my chain. Sorry for misinterpreting.

Anyway, I also like mixing with other traffic (though I'd probably say that "an eyelash" is a bit too close for my taste). While I celebrate the effect of bike lanes, I also think it's important to note that bikes are part of traffic, that we as bicyclists belong in the city streets, and that we can go anywhere.

I really don't want to sound like one of those VC nuts; but we mustn't fall into promoting the idea (even accidentally) that bikes may use only bike lanes, or that a bike lane on any given street is a necessity in order for us to ride on that street. So the act of assuming my rightful place within the traffic, and sometimes "taking the lane" (as a provisional practice when necessary for a short stretch, not as an expression of ideology), is something that I find really satisfying -- all the while keeping in mind that cars are dangerous when they are operated properly, and that most drivers are incompetent to do even that.


Originally Posted by Papa Tom
Of course, there are places I like to ride on Long Island, too. But as I said, with the little amount of free time I have, too many of them involve having to start with a drive to the starting point.
I have never owned a car; but it is possible to take a bike out on the LIRR to a starting point somewhere on Long Island. However, there is so much good riding starting from home on the Brooklyn/Queens border, that I don't seem ever to have the urge to do that.
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Old 06-03-15, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by oldnslow2
Yes, there's a MUP (Multi Use Path) that runs from the Syosset LIRR station, south through Bethpage State Park, along the Bethpage Parkway and into the Massapequa Preserve. From there you can take local streets, about 3 miles, to Cedar Creek park where there's a MUP to Tobay Beach. I'd say its about 33 miles from end to end and nothing more than a 30' climb.

You can ride back or just half way to the Wantagh LIRR station and go home.
Well, sort of.

It's an on street painted bike lane to/from the actual separate paved path, that actually starts at Sunnyside Lane and Woodbury Rd. to the LIRR Syosett station, a total distance of 3 miles (Woodbury Rd./Piquets Lane/Syosett-Woodbury Rd./Cold Spring Rd. - or does the painted path take Convent - can't recall) . The paved path then runs 13 miles south to Merrick Rd. in Massapequa, or detour at Clark to the local streets oldnslow2 refers to.

And as Papa Tom has stated in previous posts, the Town of Oyster Bay has been delinquent in keeping up with the street markings. So Google it and save the images in your phone as guidance (or print it).
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